I was thinking about food quirks today….you know, the weird rituals we have around food or the strange combination of things we like. I am always interested to hear about other people’s food quirks – maybe in part because they make me feel a little less weird!
Jeff would say I have many, but I think there are only two that are really strange.
(1) The way I eat m&m’s. I pair them by color and then eat one pair at a time, chewing one on the right side and one on the left side. When you get to the end of the bag or the handful, if there are an odd number of a certain color, then there are acceptable pairs of colors you can eat together. Brown goes with orange or yellow. Green goes with blue or yellow. Red goes with brown or blue (or orange in a pinch). Definitely no red with green. I have no idea where this started or why, but I prefer to think of it as a sign of genius!
(2) Brownies (or other chocolate such as Oreos) and Ketchup. It’s a sweet and salty thing, like chocolate covered pretzels. OK, maybe not really like that, but you get the idea. It all started when I was growing up. When my sister and I went grocery shopping with my mom (which was weekly I believe until my sister started to drive) we were allowed to get a Swanson’s T.V. Dinner and that night we were actually allowed to eat it in front of the t.v. on a t.v. tray – you know the old rickety ones with the “gold” metal legs that snapped into the top. OK – so you all know about how old I am now! Anyway, I digress…..So I ALWAYS picked the Salisbury Steak in Tomato Sauce that came with tater tots, green beans and a brownie. Every time, without fail I ate the green beans first to get rid of them. Then I ate the “steak”, then the tater tots and finally I got to the brownie. If you’ve ever had a Swanson’s t.v. dinner you know that whatever sauce or gravy was on the entrée always cooked over into the dessert. But I was not about to let that stop me from eating my brownie. So I trudged on and now the combination of chocolate and tomato brings back memories.
If I think about it, there are others…..with the exception of t.v. dinners I was never a person who ate all of one thing, then all of the next thing; however, I do try to do a sort of round robin thing so that I get finished with everything at approximately the same time. I also went through a phase where I would dip my pizza crust into soda – although it was short-lived, it was a pretty strong one at the time.
I don’t know too much about Jeff’s rituals (I know he must have them, he just doesn’t share them); but I do know some of the strange combinations of things he eats. He sometimes puts peanut butter on a cheeseburger. He slathers his New Years Day pork, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes (which all go in an unappetizing heap in the middle of the plate) with ketchup and he puts raw onions and ketchup in the soupy kind of chicken pot pie.
And my sister has a weird way of eating pudding. She makes a stripe from the “top” of the bowl to the “bottom” of the bowl in the center. Then she makes another stripe to the left of the center stripe and one more to the right. She repeats that until she reaches the outside of the bowl and then she turns the bowl a quarter turn and repeats until all the pudding is gone.
After I wrote up to this point, I did a Google search for “food rituals” and found that many, many folks have blogged about this topic – some like me for the entertainment value. But others in a more serious way. For most of us these rituals are nothing more than funny quirks, but for some they can be signs of or can morph into eating disorders or OCD, which aren’t funny at all. So please, if you are a praying person, pray for those folks who have moved past rituals into compulsions.
Those who were writing from a curiosity or entertainment perspective included examples of how they or people they know eat a wide variety of foods – everything from m&m’s like me to baked potatoes, Bugles, BBQ, animal crackers, grilled cheese sandwiches, olives, donuts, etc.
It makes me wonder if I’ve been eating those things “wrong” for my whole life. Well, I’ll worry about that another day. In the mean time, let me know if you have any strange food quirks!